Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: BIG Gourds

Brian went on Deacon visitation and came back with HUGE Squash!! HUGE... I have never seen such BIG Squash before!!! The one Anna is holding is as long as my forearm.... from my elbow to my fingertips.... just ONE would feed an army:)

Thanks to our sweet friends who generously shared their produce with us!!!

Now, I love squash cooked in the microwave with butter (oopps... I mean LITE, milk-free margarine), pepper and a little salt!! And Grandma taught me to make fried squash. Anyone got anymore kid-friendly, milk-free (or easily substituted) squash recipes:)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tagged and Successful Mommy?

What is your current "obsession"?

Well to be honest, it's probably blogging.... but I'm attempting to tend to my relationship with the Lord, the kids, my hubby and the house like I should.

Soon I will be consumed with VBS preparations:)

Coffee or Tea?

I'm in the SOUTH, so it's sweet iced tea... of course. And we make some peach tea the other day... yummmy!!!!

What's for Dinner?

With picky kids and not wanting to spend all day in the kitchen, I cook simple, easy and kid-pleasing meals... usually:) So tonight was ziti and ground turkey spaghetti sauce, fresh green beans and squash (thanks to our neighbors and friends)!

What's the Last thing you bought?

Besides groceries or VBS Material?? The last "fun" item was new Pjs for the kids at a Carter's outlet while on vacation:) Chris and Anna needed new PJs BAD... Chris' PJ pants were looking like capris:)

What are you listening to right now?


What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Oh, ice cream!!! Such a rarity at our house now with all of the food allergies.... but if I had my choice and I could eat ice cream whenever I had some.... Edy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough... do I need to workout just by thinking about eating a bowl???

What is your favorite color?

Not sure if I have one.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?

Probably my cami-tops, then my black T-shirt and then my jean capris and FLIP-FLOPS... of course:)

What is your dream job?

Believe it or not... I get to do it daily. I love being a mommy.... yes, even on the nutty days.

I was thinking this afternoon about what a "Successful Mommy" looks like.... once I used to think that being successful "in my field" was to have a peaceful, clean, and calm home, a regular schedule that allowed us to accomplish a lot throughout the day and MUCH MORE. But I was convicted the other day that these things were fine but should not be MY measure of a "Successful Mommy".

These are some new questions that I can evaluate my "mothering":

  • Am I demonstrating love and giving attention to my children?

  • Am I leading my kids to know God more? And want to know Him more?

  • Am I a good model to my children?

  • Am I teaching them to be kind, considerate, thoughtful and productive kids? (not sure how to word that one)

I've got a long way to go and many more years to learn.... I know my kids still have plenty to teach me... LOL!!

Hannah in the Garden

On Friday, little Hannah was soo sleepy. Maybe it was the heat, someone snuggling her, or maybe she's just a content little baby?? But she wouldn't wake for my sister to feed her.... and the photography bug started biting me.

So my mom, my sister and I tried to set-up a "Anne Geddes"-like scene. And made it super cozy for the little princess.... and she slept through all the pics:)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Butterfly Garden with Grammie and Pey

On Friday, the kids and I took off to see my parents, Aunt jaclyn and Hannah! We visited some Butterfly Gardens near my mom and then swam in the pool. I also took some fun pics of Hannah (maybe some coming soon) so I didn't take many pool picks... we have ALL summer:)

Here are the kids and Grammie looking into the chyralises display... it had tons of chyralysasis and some butterflies that had just come out. They liked watching to see if they could see another emerge. I love this pic... can you see Anna trying to hold Christopher up so that he can see?? Sooo Sweet!


A BIg FAT catepillar Grammie and the kids found!!

Here are the kids listening to a book about caterpilars read to them by the staff.

Lydia actually took this pic... I thought the kids were soo good and interested in the Butterfly Garden!

Pey and Grammie with the bigger munchins:)

Lydia couldn't wait to hold Hannah!!

Lydia kept admiring Hannah's feet. She'd rub them lightly with her fingers and then look up at us and say,"Hannah have cute little feet." Oh, my grown little baby!!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend... we'll see you Monday. Maybe with some Hannah pics??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacation Pics

I'm never sure how much to share when it comes to vacations:) We did have a good time though....

We visited with friends... The first day we visited one of Brian's college friends... she's got a couple more parenting boys years than us... so it was soo great to see Tiffany and her family. Then on Thursday we headed into Western, Western NC to visit some sweet church friends from Grandaddy's former church... they are basically extended family since Brian's family served there for almost 20 years:) One sweet lady is Miss Gail... she is a blog-reader and totally blessed the kids with all sorts of toys that kept them busy at the house.

Friday we went into Cherokee, NC to the Indian village:) And then we did our little hikes. Both Mingo Falls and Soco Falls are simple and short hikes... perfect for families with little ones, although they both were steep.

Saturday we went to Santa's Land. I know.... we were very hesitant to go since we are NOT Santa people... but the amusements they had were very little kid-friendly... a little train, animals, little rides, snack bar and some playgrounds.

Sunday we went to church. Ate lunch out:) And then napped and rested. I had picked up a book from the cottage's owners' collection, I was determined to read the whole thing but the time we left... so I spent the afternoon reading (ok, and some napping). It was a rainy afternoon... so it was a perfect day to rest:)

Monday was had another rainy/cloudy day, so we drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to get to some outlets:) It was a pretty ride even in the cloudiness:) And we picked a couple fun deals;)

We stayed busy and then crashed at home. It was a fun vacation and a fun area to visit. We hope we can make another trip out there again soon!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

WW- 1st Hiking Trip

We hiked a couple of short trails to see some beautiful NC Waterfalls:) We had the kids hike with us and they LOVED it!!

Anna was adorable on the hike.... halfway up the hill she turned and said,"This is my first hiking trip."

As a Momma who likes hiking, I'm very glad my kids are hikers, too!!

WFMW - Planning Meals for Vacations:)

You might not have known... but we've been on vacation all week!!! yes, I'm a BIG nerd and had my posts scheduled... there were fun pics and quotes I wanted to share... vacation scheduled posts seemed perfect:)

But what was really scheduled for our vacation were our meals:) We stayed at a mountain home of some friends... it was beautiful and soo nice to feel like we were camping but have beds, showers, cable TV (LOL... always a treat hen you don't have it a home) and a full kitchen... yes even a dishwasher:) And we had the whole in-law crew... so plenty of help with kids and meals.

About 2 or 3 weeks before our vacation, Grandma and I started chatting about some easy meals we could fix. And then we watched sales and started "hiding away" our vacation foods. Yes, I'll say "hiding" because I had to keep my kids (and husband) out of the snacks:) And we tried to do some of our prep-work at home.... to make the final preparations easier... and it was!!!

So on spaghetti and meatball night, I pulled out the meatballs I had made and froze weeks ago when ground beef was a GREAT price! And we used the spaghetti sauce I picked up at Lowes 2 weeks ago when it was BOGO. So we were able to have simple and easy to prepare meals while we saved money... everything on sale and NOT eating out for every meal.

Another great aspect about planning meals (for us) is that we brought foods that were safe for everyone. Eating known safe foods at home is soo much less stressful than being at a restaurant with hungry kids trying to figure out what the kids can eat!!

The other GREAT thing was that we planned meals together.... it was nice to share the meal planning, preparing and cleaning up. I am soo blessed to have such a great mother-in-law!!! She's amazing! And now I have the sweetest sister-in-law! She'll just jump into the kitchen with us, too!!

Here is the crew (with an Indian)!!

We had a great vacation... and I'll have a couple more pics to share this week:)

Check out Works for Me Wednesday at We are that Family:) I always learn soo many great ideas on Wednesdays:)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Newest Photographer

Isn't she adorable???

And WHO is her model???
Anna!!! She lets Lydia direct her and smiles and poses like Lydia asks!! What a great BIG sister she is:)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Sentences

Christopher says to me, "Did you know I came out of Daddy's tummy?"

Me: "oh, really... no I didn't know that. Did anyone come out of my tummy?"

Chris: giggles, like I should know the answer, "Mommy, Anna and Lydia came out of your tummy. Girls come from girl's tummies and boys come from boy's tummies."

What do you say to a 3-year old who has it all figured out??

Friday, June 19, 2009


The other day the kids and I were climbing into the trampoline when I heard shrieks... girlie- "I see a bug" shrieks:) And they sure had found one....

Yes, he was stuck halfway through the trampoline netting!!! he was difintely STUCK... LOL... I kind of feel bad for bugs OUTSIDE that get stuck in the path of my kids... they LOVe to catch them and put them in their bugkeepers. They shake them around for a few hours and then I convince them that we need to let them go so they can eat... lol

But this was different... it was a horse fly!! So I got a bat... lol

I did spare him. he came all the way through the net into the trampoline... more girlie shrieks.... and then we flung him out into the grass to FREEDOM... LOL

Plenty of excitement for us:) And a good story that was shared with Daddy... who didn't have to come rescue us this time... LOL

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - I'm Ap"peel"ing

Finally at the peeling stage for Little Man! And it's itchy!!

Learn from us this summer.... lather sunscreen on them when they are outside!!! yes, even when it's cloudy!! And when they fuss... just remember you are helping them and keeping them safe, healthy and sunburn free!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Realities of an Allergy Kid

Anna was soo nervous this afternoon before her allergist appt... it had been over 2.5 years since she had been, so it was definitely time for retesting.

It really was heartbreaking for me to see her soo worried. But I stayed "tough" until she looked at me in the exam room and said,"Mommy, I'm just soo scared." So that's when I pulled her in my lap, talked through the "procedure" and tried to encourage her. Reminding her that I would be right next to her!

Skin Pricks

While skin pricks with the allergens isn't the most comfortable procedure at least it's not needles or ingesting foods that could make her go into anaphylactic shock!!

And I am thankful that the kids' allergies are very easy to diagnose... the skin pricks are very easy to read because the kids react immediately. The same was today with Anna.

The Reaction
And I am thankful that the kids' allergies are very easy to diagnose... the skin pricks are very easy to read because the kids react immediately. The same was today with Anna.

But at each prick where there is a reaction is very itchy.... Anna was very uncomfortable with that itchy feeling on her back. She wanted me to wash her back soo bad... but she was trooper and toughed it out! She made me proud:)

The EXTRA Reaction
As if the reactions on her back weren't enough.... Anna must have touched one of the prick sites when she was fixing her gown. Then she started rubbing her right eye (sleepiness)... and the redness, hives and swelling began.

I wasn't prepared with Benadryl and we had to WAIT a LONG time for the doctor to finally come in. But I washed her hands and dabbed her eye with clean gauze and water, so by the time the doctor came in there was an improvement!! At dinner she was still a little swollen....

The Disappointing Prognosis
Even the doctor was amazed at how sensitive her allergies are. And gave us the grim prognosis that the likelihood for Anna to outgrow these allergies is dimming as her reactions remain so strong.

While I was disappointed, Anna didn't really seemed bothered by it. She's never eaten pizza, or ice cream or peanut butter! So she doesn't really know what she is missing. And she has a diverse array of safe foods that she enjoys and is very comfortable eating.

When she was climbing back into the van after the appointment she asked, "Did the doctor say I could eat peanuts now?" And I answered back,"No, Baby, you can't have peanuts." and she shrugged her shoulders like "oh, well."

So we now can get an updated Epi-pen to carry with us. I pray that we would continue to be vigilant in keeping them safe!! And I am so thankful to God; that He has protected our kids daily! And through this He is teaching me to trust Him and to be thankful for how healthy we really are.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seven Years Ago Today.....

Many nights, even after a "dysfunctional day", I am amazed at how perfectly we are paired. Sure we have disagreements and we are still learning about one another all the time... but we geniunely love one another and enjoy each other's company. And we are working daily alongside one another!!

I am soo thankful to the Lord to be Brian's wife. Brian is a very good and honorable man. He loves the Lord and desires to know Him and serve Him to the best of his abilities. Brian is a very, very diligent and hard worker both at church and around the house (helping me, playing with the kids and doing jobs around the house).

One of my favorite things about Brian is when he gets silly... while he normally has a very dry sense of humor, he will on occassion not be able to speak because he is laughing soo hard... everyone listening to him just smiles and laughs to just watching Brian's laughter. I look forward to some typical brother/dad humor during our upcoming vacation... I wonder if their goofy Darth Vadar joke will come out again...

One of the most touching things about Brian (besides how much I know he loves the Lord and me) is his LOVE and devotion to our kids!!! One of his struggles while working on his PhD was the time he was missing with the kid due to studying... but it's not uncommon to find him sitting on the floor in the bathroom reading books with Chris on the potty, or jumping on the trampoline with the kids, or teaching them some sports outside, or encouraging them in their learning. It always makes me smile to see them having fun together... they have a great Daddy!

And I have a GREAT Husband!!

Happy 7th Anniversary, Brian!!
I love you more and more each day!!

here is our engagement story. if you're interested!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Sentences

As I was working around the house I heard the kids playing... this was what I heard from Anna:

Let's do school. Everyone get your Bibles...

Ok, so today we are talking
about what God has created....

He made the sky, bird and then trees.
He made us and our hearts.... he made our hearts so that he can live in our
hearts and tell us what to do.
Everyone got a turn being the "teacher"... that means you get to tell the others what to do while you stand behind the dehumidifier! And you refer to everyone using their full name.... first, middle and last.... so funny to hear them say eachother's full names.

Anna ended her turn being teacher by leading everyone in the song "Home on the Range". But then it got silly.... they subsitituted the forgotten words with BOINK... so it all ended up in giggles:)

Friday, June 12, 2009

So Quickly

After the last couple of visits with Hannah I come back with 2 thoughts: I want another baby.. LOL and how quickly my "babies" have grown!!

Anna just turned 5 and does soo much to help me around the house and for her schoolwork!! And some of the conversations I have with her or hear her in just amaze me! And Chris... hmmm... I have to remind myself most days (when he is rascally) that he's only 3! He thinks he's a teenager,too:)

Then I look at "Bug"! At 2 yrs old, she is in an inbetween stage. She's cute like a baby but wanting to be grown like her sister and brother. The other day as we were outside I tried to capture her "littleness" because it's NOT going to last long... it never does:)

Dirty Little Hands

Pudgy Toddler Toes

And here she is showing off her newest talent!! She asked to ride the "big" bike.

Brian put her on.
Away she went!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Easily Adjusting in the newborn Days

Smallest cutie at the Splash Pad

Still snoozing (and adorable) at Grammies!!
I am just amazed how much little Hannah Grace sleeps:) I know all newborns sleep a lot (because they are growing... right) but I had forgotten! In so many ways the "newborn stage" is an easy stage.... and in sooo many ways it is not... LOL... I don't do very well without consistent deep sleep (that doesn't happen in the newborn days at my house)!

My sister and brother-in-law make it look soo easy! REALLY... they have seemed to adjust to life with a baby so smoothly!!! Even getting through those 1st few days of nursing, lack of sleep and now the awful 1st baby postpartum rash.... they take it one challenge at a time:) And I am soo glad for them that they have a big support network of other young parents, family, grandparents, church family and friends that have been helping, bringing meals and praying for them:)

Off to tame my wild crew!
BTW... kudos to all those who take newborn pics that are beautiful... it's a lot harder than it seems! Glad Hannah went to a professional.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - day with Grammie

Watching Airplanes Together:)

Unique Glimpses of Beauty in the Gardens

Sisters pushing their little tikes:)

Major Splashing at the Splash Park

All Bundled after swimming in Grammie's freezing pool

And finally as we were leaving, in the evening light... she awoke:)
Sweet, sweet Baby Hannah
I have a more Hannah pics to share!!! Even asleep it's hard NOT to take pictures of her!! I'll share more later:)